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Terminal Illness Causes Family Secret to Surface in Heartfelt Story of Severed Trust and Forgiveness

Terminal Illness Causes Family Secret to Surface in Heartfelt Story of Severed Trust and Forgiveness

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Natalia Foster is the family secret that her biological father, Joe Russo, was supposed to take to his grave. But when Natalia learns that Joe, an Italian man she’s never met, is dying of a terminal illness, she’s forced to confront the truth of her parentage and make a difficult decision: Should she remain in the shadows or make herself known to Joe and his family?

The Wool Over Their Eyes, from Dione Martin, is an authentic, heartfelt story about complex family dynamics and the emotions that must be unpacked when long-buried secrets push their way to the surface.

Joe’s immediate family, including his devoted wife, Rosa, know nothing of Natalia’s existence. Her gray eyes — exactly like Joe’s — and simple math prove that Natalia is a product of Joe’s infidelity, making a mockery of Rosa’s marriage. If his family discovers the whole truth — that Natalia is not only illegitimate but also Black — family bonds will be shattered.

In the midst of Natalia’s family drama and pain, another life-changing decision emerges. Natalia must choose between two loves — a long-lost one and a new one. Her ex-boyfriend, Tyler Davis, who captured her heart and connected with her soul, resurfaces. But she meets a handsome doctor, David Duplessis, who’d cared for her father. Just as the relationship begins to blossom, David commits an act that severs her trust and sends her spiraling further into her dark abyss.

The Wool Over Their Eyes is loosely based on Martin’s personal experiences. She drew upon her own memories and insights of growing up without her biological father and being betrayed in her own marriage to inform her narrative and give her characters depth and authenticity.

“I wrote The Wool Over Their Eyes for fatherless girls, for women who have been betrayed, for those who have been rejected because of their race (or otherness) and for families that have been torn apart by secrets, lies and deception,” Martin reflects. “Healing is possible – through change, through empathy, through faith and through forgiveness.”

Author Dione Martin was born and raised in New Orleans, where she spent much of her childhood and teen years reading. She earned her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Minnesota-Morris and her Master’s in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a senior communications director at Brinker International. She lives in Dallas with her two daughters and enjoys running, cooking, performing arts and attempting DIY projects. The Wool Over Their Eyes is her debut novel, and she is working on her next one.

For more information about the author, please visit www.dione-martin.com or follow her on Twitter (@DioneMartin30) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/dionehmartin).

The Wool Over Their Eyes
Publisher: Inspire on Purpose
Release Date: March 5, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1948903530
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Carrie Myers
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Son’s Quest for Father’s Buried Treasure Leads to Unforgettable Journey

Son’s Quest for Father’s Buried Treasure Leads to Unforgettable Journey

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John “Blackie” Rinaldi had been dead for more than six years before his enigmatic letter surfaced. In it, Blackie described a cache of stolen money — hinting at its origins and its whereabouts — and prompting his son to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

Fool’s Errand from Jeffrey S. Stephens takes readers on a fast-paced quest for riches that skillfully explores the complexities of father-son relationships through the eyes of Blackie’s son, who feels compelled to unravel the mystery his father left him to solve. Why hadn’t his father simply told him about the hidden treasure before his death?

It’s just one of many questions as Blackie’s son follows the letter’s trail of breadcrumbs from the mean streets of New York to the Las Vegas Strip, and ultimately to the South of France. Along the way, he is confronted by dangerous mobsters, dishonest relatives, suspicious friends, a mysterious woman and the risks of a journey his father may or may not have planned for him.

Each secret revealed leads to more questions, as his life-altering pursuit for answers takes thrilling twists and perilous turns until the very end.

Fool’s Errand is poignant and entertaining, humorous and exciting, romantic and mysterious — an adventure that convincingly explores the dynamic between a father and son, and the events that will eventually lead a young man to discover both the treasure and himself.

Author Jeffrey S. Stephens lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is also the author of the Jordan Sandor espionage thrillers, beginning with Targets of Deception and, most recently, Rogue Mission. He is also the author of the recent thriller, Crimes and Passion, the first in a planned series featuring Lieutenant Robbie Whyte.

For more information, please visit www.jeffreystephens.com.

Fool’s Errand
Publisher: Post Hill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1642937381
ISBN-10: 164293738X
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
954.263.6827 Direct
800.854.1134 Office
pr@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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Your Veterinarian Needs Help

Your Veterinarian Needs Help

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Your veterinarian chose to dedicate his or her life to the altruistic pursuit of tending to the health and lives of pets. What you may not have considered is that the health and life of your veterinarian also needs protecting: he or she is nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than someone among the general population. But there are ways you can help.

Sandy Weaver, author of the groundbreaking new book Happy Vet Happy Pet: Caring for Your Pet’s Caregiver, is on a mission to ease the lives of veterinarians, one client’s heart at a time.

“I’ve known for years, as have those in the veterinary field, that there was an issue with suicide and veterinarians,” Sandy says. “Then in early 2019, the CDC report on veterinary suicide was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and what had been anecdotal became data: male veterinarians are 2.1 times more likely, and female veterinarians are 3.5 times more likely, to complete suicide than their non-veterinarian peers.”

Happy Vet Happy Pet is a distillation of Sandy’s research into neuroscience, neuroplasticity and positive psychology mixed with data from the CDC report. The result is an impactful approach that weaves easy-to-understand science with stories that touch the minds and the hearts of pet owners — empowering them to be part of the solution.

Chapters dive deep into topics all pet owners should understand, including:

  1. The heart, mind and life of a person who decides to become a veterinarian;
  2. The very human, very vulnerable person behind the scrubs;
  3. The ways clients unknowingly mistreat their pets’ caregivers;
  4. Three simple rules to follow to help your veterinary team; and
  5. What to do if you feel that someone near you is facing suicidal desperation.

Happy Vet Happy Pet shares Sandy’s unique point of view that it takes a village to save a veterinarian. “Making pet owners mindful of how their behavior impacts their veterinarian mobilizes the village to help solve the problem,” she adds.

This book will change your relationship with your veterinarian and their team forever. And what you learn in this book could save your veterinarian’s life.

Author Sandy Weaver is an expert speaker, trainer, mastermind facilitator and lover of all things dog.

As the Program Director of the Center for Workplace Happiness, Sandy creates the training programs, workshops, mastermind groups and keynotes that help people lead happier, more successful lives. She is also a citizen-scientist in the fields of neuroscience, neuroplasticity and positive psychology. In 2019, she took the resilience tools and strategies she’d been teaching to general audiences and crafted programs specifically for veterinary teams. Her goal is to touch the life of every veterinarian and technician in a way that helps them avoid the pain and despair that comes with an inability to manage stress.

Now in her 40th year of Siberian Husky ownership, Sandy is a passionate advocate for veterinarians and their teams and an ongoing donor to Not One More Vet.

For more information, please visit www.centerforworkplacehappiness.com, https://sandyjweaver.com, or connect with the author on social media at https://www.facebook.com/SandyJWeaver/.

Happy Vet Happy Pet: Caring for Your Pet’s Caregiver
Publisher: Panoma Press
Release Date: January 29, 2021
ISBN-10: 1784529311
ISBN-13: 978-1784529314
Available from https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Vet-Pet-Caring-Caregiver/dp/1784529311/

Trish Stevens
Chloe Taylor
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Break the Fear Cycle: Brain Expert Shares Advice for Building Resilience During Challenging Times

Break the Fear Cycle: Brain Expert Shares Advice for Building Resilience During Challenging Times

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Forced social isolation, shuttered businesses and canceled or scaled-down worship services have contributed to an overwhelming sense of loss and fear among people all over the world. And there’s a scientific reason for these emotions, explains Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist and founder of Come and Reason Ministries.

Dr. Jennings is a much sought-after speaker who regularly addresses non-medical professionals on the subjects of Spirituality in Medicine, Depression and its Spiritual and Physical Connections, and Alzheimer’s Dementia. He also speaks to medical professionals on the topics of Psychotherapy in Clinical Practice, Major Depression in the Primary Care Setting, and the Neurobiology of Depression — among many others.

He describes how the measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 can have physiological and psychological impacts that, like dominoes, will topple our sources of strength and resilience.

“Research shows that social rejection, isolation and loneliness activate the brain’s stress pathways, thereby increasing inflammatory factors, diminishing immune response and increasing vulnerability to viral infections and cancer, and make you less resilient in life,” he says.

In the shadow of government mandates that restrict our interactions with others, what can we do within our four walls to build our resilience and guard our overall wellbeing?

Dr. Jennings suggests we can boost our resilience through physical exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting regular sleep, cognitive training, having a healthy relationship with God and spiritual development — measures that can actually alter the way our brains react to stress.

“Healthy spirituality confers resilience in a multitude of ways,” he says. “It develops your higher cortex, which calms your fear circuits. You have less fear and you’re less anxious if you’ve got a developed prefrontal cortex. And if you have a loving relationship with a God you trust, that’s part of your prefrontal cortex. And if people have more love, they have less fear.”

Another part of our prefrontal cortex is altruism — something those with healthy spirituality are more likely to engage in — and helping others also calms fear circuits.

Our ability to face a crisis and bounce back is, in part, inherited from our parents and even grandparents through our genetic makeup, Dr. Jennings explains. But through a combination of mental, physical and spiritual adaptive measures, we can boost our resilience and improve our ability to overcome life’s challenges.

Dr. Timothy R. Jennings operates a private practice in Chattanooga and has successfully treated thousands of patients. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Life-Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association.

He is also a prolific author whose books include The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life; Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind; The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind; and The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God’s Love Transforms Us.

To hear his presentations and to learn more about Dr. Jennings and his approach to brain and body health, please visit: www.comeandreason.com.

Possible discussion topics for Dr. Jennings:

  1. How do positive social interactions reduce our inflammatory markers?
  2. How does wearing masks contribute to feelings of social isolation?
  3. Explain epigenetic markers and the role they play in our ability to be resilient.
  4. Explain how our life experiences can alter our gene expression and lead to improved resiliency.

Trish Stevens
Helen Cook
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
903.654.0938 Direct
281.333.3507 Office
hcook@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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The Home Stretch: Uplifting Coming of Age Story Explores Complex Themes of Mortality and Forgiveness

The Home Stretch: Uplifting Coming of Age Story Explores Complex Themes of Mortality and Forgiveness

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The diagnosis of leukemia at age 43 laid bare a brief flirtation with escape for Bill Smith. After all, he had battled depression and suicidal thoughts from a young age; mortality was really nothing new for him to grapple with. To put it bluntly, for Bill Smith, the end had always been in view. But that life-defining moment — that brief descent into darkness — triggered a profound fight for survival.

The Home Stretch, from award-winning author Wayne M. Johnston, features everyman Bill Smith (loosely based on Johnston himself), who, throughout his life, is confronted with extraordinary circumstances. His is a coming of age story in which the peace that allegedly comes with maturity is often shunted aside to make room for yet another crisis. It is also an uplifting story in its candid, reality-based portrait of a man struggling to find personal integrity through challenging conditions.

From an early age, Bill grapples with depression. Raised in a religious cult, he cannot reconcile his own experience with the worldview of his parents, and although he’s bound to them by love and obligation, he rejects their beliefs. His father’s palpable disappointment in Bill leads him to contemplate suicide and to provoke his father into a confrontation with a surprising outcome that would redefine their relationship and alter the course of both of their lives.

Given to a physical, adventurous life, Bill becomes the chief engineer on a seagoing tugboat, and his tales of weathering gale-force winds and violent storms at sea provide metaphorical undercurrents for his fraught relationship with his father, his failed early marriage, his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s and his own battle with leukemia, which he is told will kill him. Just when Bill has come to believe he has put the worst of it to rest, he learns something more about his father that opens everything up again, except this time, Bill’s sister is the victim.

The Home Stretch is a poignant, ultimately inspiring coming of age story that weaves themes of mortality and forgiveness through life-defining moments of reckoning that many adults have to face head-on and learn to overcome.

Wayne M. Johnston taught English, Creative Writing and Publications at La Conner High School for 19 years. Prior to that, for 22 years he worked on tugboats, usually as chief engineer, towing freight barges between Canadian and West Coast American ports. In 2011, he won the Soundings Review First Publication Award for his essay, “Sailing,” and has published other essays locally. For his debut novel, North Fork, he drew from years of experience reading student journals to reproduce the way kids voice serious matters to a trusted adult. The Home Stretch is book two in a planned trilogy. North Fork was released in 2016 as a YA novel. The story is told through the voices of three 17-year-olds as journal entries for their English class. Bill Smith, the protagonist in The Home Stretch, is their English teacher, and The Home Stretch is his back story.

Johnston lives with his wife, Sally, on Fidalgo Island in Washington State where he is working on another book length project. Connect with the author on Facebook (

The Home Stretch
Publisher: Black Heron Press
ISBN-10: 1936364344
ISBN-13: 978-1936364343
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com, Target.com and anywhere books are sold

Trish Stevens
Vicky Rockwell
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Post-Traumatic Thriving

Post-Traumatic Thriving

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Is there a science to survival, or are some people simply born with elastic emotional exoskeletons that bounce back readily following even the most traumatic of experiences?

To uncover the answer, world-renown expert on disasters and trauma Dr. Randall Bell undertook un-precedented research, juxtaposing outcomes of scientific studies with stories of real people who have not just survived, but have used their trauma as their fuel to thrive to uncover common denominators. He shares his remarkable insights in his new book, Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience.

Dr. Bell sits down with survivors of the Holocaust; murder-victim’s families; crime victims; suicide survivors; and those who’ve experienced homelessness, disasters, addictions, depression, death, divorce, disabilities, defeats and disease to explore the rare mindset of the post-traumatic thriver.

He shares with readers stories of remarkable resilience, including the following:

• A deaf man with a glass eye invented the electric guitar and became a household name, remarkably wealthy and most importantly, happy.
• A convicted murderer took responsibility for the damage he caused, graduated with honors from college, became a minister and turned around the hearts of the most hardened criminals.
• A girl born with cerebral palsy landed the world’s first starring role on national television and spoke at the White House three times.
• A woman hid in a basement for years and lost her entire family in the Holocaust. She eventually found true love and paints stunning artwork.
• The sister of a murder victim helped millions of women in toxic domestic relationships.
• A woman’s car crash resulted in an addiction to prescription drugs, a divorce, a loss of her children and a cot in a homeless shelter. She has rebuilt it all back and more.
• A man set to go to the Olympics had his hopes dashed by Jimmy Carter and went on to build a worldwide business empire.

Ultimately, Dr. Bell documents the science of happiness, as well as the individual styles and common thread that all post-traumatic thrivers have to emerge with a fulfilling life. When trauma hits, your most significant decision will be to dive, survive or thrive. If you choose to thrive, this book is for you.

As an economist, Dr. Randall Bell has consulted on more disasters on earth than anyone in history and is widely considered the world’s top authority in the field of post-traumatic thriving. His clients include the Federal Government, State Governments, International Tribunals, major corporations and home-owners. Dr. Bell believes that “the problem is not the problem — the problem is how we react to the problem.”

Often called the “Master of Disaster,” Dr. Bell is squarely focused on authentic recovery and resilience. His research has been profiled on major television shows and featured in numerous magazines and the international media. More information can be found at www.posttraumaticthriving.com.

Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience
Publisher: Core IQ Press
Release Date: January 1, 2021
ISBN 978-0-9967931-7-9
Available from Amazon.com and all bookstores

Trish Stevens
Teresa Hinojosa
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
832.569.5773 Direct
281.333.3507 Phone
teresa@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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Now, More Than Ever, Fighting for Our Children’s Needs Must Come First

Now, More Than Ever, Fighting for Our Children’s Needs Must Come First

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Children dream without boundaries; they aspire to become paleontologists, astronauts, doctors and teachers without considering socioeconomic barriers, discrimination, disease outbreaks, violence or any one of a host of other challenges impacting their likelihood of success. It’s up to us, as a society, to help each and every child fulfill his or her potential. In fact, the future of our nation depends on it.

NBC/MSNBC public health analyst, pediatrician and activist Dr. Irwin Redlener delivers a potent wake-up call that compellingly underscores the urgency with which we must work toward fulfilling the potential of all children in his inspirational call to action, The Future of Us: What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America, which contains a new preface and afterword addressing COVID-19 and its impact on kids.

Inadequate education, barriers to health care and crushing poverty make it overwhelmingly difficult for many children to realize their dreams — and these issues have been dramatically compounded by the pandemic. Finding ways to alter these trajectories is serious, grown-up business, Dr. Redlener emphasizes, and it’s time for us to act.

“We need heartstrings to be tugged by the folks who work on the front lines … But we also need the hard-core, take-no-prisoners types who demand that those empowered to determine priorities and allocate resources understand and respond to the needs of children,” he writes.

In The Future of Us, Dr. Redlener draws upon his four decades of professional experiences to examine our nation’s health care safety nets and special programs that are designed to protect and nurture our most vulnerable kids, but that too often fail to do so.

The book follows Dr. Redlener’s long, colorful career, from his work as a pediatrician in the Arkansas delta, to treating child abuse in a Miami hospital, to helping children in the aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. He has served on the board of USA for Africa, cofounded the Children’s Health Fund with Paul Simon (and persuaded Joan Baez to play a benefit concert) and dined with Fidel Castro. He once sat across the table from Michael Jackson, and he has traveled with presidential candidates. But his most powerful source of motivation remains the children who face terrible adversities yet dream of becoming paleontologists, artists and marine biologists. Their stories are his springboard for discussing larger policy issues that hinder us from effectively eradicating childhood poverty and overcoming barriers to accessible health care. Persistent deprivation and the avoidable problems that accompany poverty ensnare millions of children and impact the health, prosperity and creativity of the adults they become. Dr. Redlener argues that we must drastically change our approach to meeting the needs of children ― for their sake and to ensure America’s resiliency and influence in an increasingly complex world.

It is Dr. Redlener’s hope that readers will emerge optimistic about our future, with a deeper understanding of how investing in children today will increase our chances of a successful tomorrow. Fighting for our nation’s children is far from a lost cause, and nothing could be more important.

Author Irwin Redlener, M.D., is a pediatrician and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In 2020, Dr. Redlener created the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative at Columbia. He is a public health analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and recently partnered with Cher in CherCares, a new program that assists communities struggling with COVID-19.

Dr. Redlener is also President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Children’s Health Fund, a philanthropic initiative that he created with singer/songwriter Paul Simon and Karen Redlener to develop health care programs in 25 of the nation’s most medically underserved urban and rural communities. He currently serves as a special advisor on emergency preparedness to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and regularly communicates with leadership in U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, as well as Homeland Security.

He is also the author of Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now. For more information, please visit www.irwinredlener.org.

The Future of Us: What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN-10: 0231177577
ISBN-13: 978-0231177573
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Chris Johnston
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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